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Support library language corrections

Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Support library language corrections

I've been thinking about how I might best be able to help with the community support library, and I think the best thing I can probably do is just flick through new articles every now and then to see if there're any corrections that can be made to the spelling, punctuation, grammar and so forth. I'm not against writing articles, but I don't really have the time to create anything decent (a composition portfolio for my MMus degree is more important right now), and I'm not sure I really know anything of much use for the library anyway. However, I have a fair working knowledge of English, so I generally spot at least a couple of things that either need correcting or should be altered for clarity. My knowledge of the language isn't perfect - far from it - so I make no guarantees that any article I edit will be fully 'correct' after I've fiddled around with it, but it should at least be devoid of any glaring errors.
Before I embark on giving articles a once-over in my spare time, however, I just want to check: are people happy with me correcting their errors? In my experience people can get a bit tetchy having their spelling/grammar poked around with unless they've specifically asked for it (e.g. by enlisting me as a proof-reader), and I don't want to make any enemies. I simply want to try, to the best of my ability, to uphold the correct use of a language that is finding itself increasingly misused in recent times.
27 REPLIES
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Support library language corrections

Being an old timer, my education was "Secondary Modern" we had things like gardening, home economics in the syllabus, but never did get taught correct English,  I didnt know anything about grammer until I tried to learn Italian
A large amount of people now days cant string anything together, granted a few do acknowledge that they are Dyslexic, and some of those are Bright Sparks
I would be a shame if you were not allowed to correct items, Wikipedia do allow vetted editing
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 25,789
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Registered: 14-04-2007

Re: Support library language corrections

As an aid to improving the clarity of an article I would be all for it.
After all MS Word does it without asking Wink
I do however concede there is a danger of upsetting some people.
Customer and Forum Moderator.
Product of the Tyrell Corporation
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
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Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Support library language corrections

You could start by correcting the iPhone article by Mr Bailey  Grin
Quote
screenshotted picture
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Support library language corrections

Yeah, there are a few things in James' article that need correcting - which is partly what spurred me in to starting this thread before I go ahead and do anything. On which note, thanks for the comments so far - I would, however, be particularly interested to see how current/prospective authors of articles feel about my proposal.
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 17,254
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Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: Support library language corrections

If or when I get something published you have my permission to correct it.
I reserve the right to moan about it in IRC though Smiley
Will Moderate For Thanks
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,886
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Support library language corrections

Quote from: Be3G
Yeah, there are a few things in James' article that need correcting -

It's not Yeah - it's Yes, as I was so often picked up on many moons ago by an old friend of mine!
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Support library language corrections

Many moons ago maybe, but now you'll find 'yeah' appearing in any respectable dictionary so it's obviously an accepted colloquialism.
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,591
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Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Support library language corrections

Quote from: pierre_pierre
Being an old timer, my education was "Secondary Modern" we had things like gardening, home economics in the syllabus, but never did get taught correct English,  I didnt know anything about grammer until I tried to learn Italian
...

Can I highlight a couple of errors?  Grin Grin Grin

Community Veteran
Posts: 38,251
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Support library language corrections

Thinks - should we create a new forum tag - pedant  Grin Lips are sealed
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 2,590
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Support library language corrections

Quote from: Be3G
...... you'll find 'yeah' appearing in any respectable dictionary .........

Soon to be replaced by "Yebbut" no doubt Shocked
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Support library language corrections

I think that someone volunteering to correct English spelling, grammar and punctuation is to be welcomed - but I do see that some may not necessarily appreciate it.
At least it's better than US software trying to correct you !! .
I concede that my English is far from perfect at times - so welcome any constructive help

community
Grafter
Posts: 666
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Support library language corrections

I was educated at a Grammar School and as languages were my first passion, I have ever since been an incorrigible 'Pedant'  Smiley
As the years  passed by, I had increasingly corrected every grammar error I saw or heard until in recent years I have succumbed
to the realisation that a language is not an exact science. Even the German language, for example,
that I learned in school 60 years ago has changed some of its form, such that my german contacts sometimes wonder what I am saying to them.
My present stance on any corrections to any language is more accepting the inevitable.
Language is a means of communication and is a wonderful and exciting part of our life.
Even the Academie Francaise has succumbed to the westernisation of the French Language .
I now accept that errors of grammar and spelling are part of communication which should be accepted and we should be grateful that
we have the ability to communicate with our fellows in whatever way is intelligible to the majority not just to the few pedants like I used to be.  Wink
Correction of  any written words or groups of words is not acceptable.
If we accept that when we speak or write , our aim is to convey a message and if most of us understand what we are saying or writing, then that is progress.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Support library language corrections

being in the latest copy of a respected dictionary is no reason to use them, you will find the majority of swear words in them as well
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Support library language corrections

Community - I agree with a lot you are saying - especial on a forum like this .
But written technical guides are notoriously difficult to write - becuase the writer is so familiar with the subject they take things for granted that new people will not know or understand.
So I think having ones text checked and corrected by others should be acceptable, as long as it does in a constructive and friendly manner.
As I said - my knowledge of the formal rules of grammar is rather limted - I did learnt a little at school, but I accept that I make errors.
I write and partially edit some society magazines and web sites - and I am very accepting of crtical checking by people who are very good at English grammar.
Yes Pedantry is to be avoided -  but if someone can edit and improve text so it much more readable - then I think it should be done, and I wouldn't object in the slightest if someone edited my text as long as the meaning isn't changed.
Many of the older people here will remember the instruction books for Japanese televisions when they first appeared - quite laughable in some ways - but they are so much better now that they are translated or at least edited by native English writers.